I Only Want to Be With You

Album: Stay A While - I Only Want To Be With You (1964)
Charted: 4 12

Songfacts®:

  • This was Dusty Springfield's first single as a solo artist - she was previously a member of The Springfields with her brother Tom. That group had five Top 10 hits in the UK and one in the US ("Silver Threads and Golden Needles") before Dusty's departure.

    "I Only Want to Be With You" launched Dusty's Hall of Fame career, and became the first hit by a British artist since The Beatles started their run. Springfield was 24 when the song was released.
  • This song is about a girl who has finally found the guy of her dreams - or at least she thinks so. It's very much a teenage crush song in the same vein as many of the girl group songs Springfield loved. When she came to America and began her solo career, Dusty took more of a pop/R&B direction inspired by groups like The Shirelles and The Crystals.
  • Springfield performed this on the first ever episode of the British TV show Top Of The Pops on January 1, 1964. The Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark Five and The Hollies also performed on that show. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • A 1989 cover was the last US hit for the British singer Samantha Fox, who rose to stardom after appearing topless in a British newspaper and scoring hits with "Touch Me (I Want Your Body)," "Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)," and "I Wanna have Some Fun." Her version reached #31 US and #16 UK.
  • The Bay City Rollers released a version in December 1976 that reached #12 in the US. The song was also a #4 hit in the UK (#83 US) for The Tourists, who were the group Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart were in before they formed Eurythmics. Nicolette Larson also charted with the song, taking it to #53 in 1982. In 2005, Volbeat gave it a metal makeover.
  • This was written by Mike Hawker and Ivor Raymonde, who also wrote Springfield's song "Stay Awhile." Hawker also wrote "Walking Back to Happiness" for Helen Shapiro.
  • Springfield performed this song on the first season of the British TV series Ready Steady Go! twice in 1963. She handled hosting duties on some early episodes of the show, and even interviewed The Beatles on the program.
  • Vic Flick, who performed on many of the James Bond themes, played guitar on this track. He told us: "Dusty was always good to work with. She knew what she wanted, both from the musicians and from herself. I first met her in 1959 when she was part of a girl trio, the Lana Sisters. I did a couple of arrangements for them to use on the live show we were doing. I had just started with John Barry Seven and everything was happening at once. Good days."

Comments: 13

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaWonder if the drummer was Bobby Graham, as he played on a bunch of her songs. Heard she hated drummers but never knew why.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaDoes anyone out there know who the musicians on this song were? Thanks-still my fav Dusty tune.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 10th 1964, Dusty Springfield performed "I Only Want to Be With You" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show’; it also marked her U.S. television debut...
    This was her debut record on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and little over two months earlier on March 8th, 1964 it peaked at #12 {for 1 week} and it spent 10 weeks on the Top 100...
    On the same 'Sullivan' show she also performed "Stay Awhile"; the day before it was at #38 and that was its last day on the Top 100, and position #38 was also its peak position on the Top 100...
    Between 1964 and 1970 she, as a solo artist, had eighteen Top 100 records; with three making the Top 10, "Wishin' and Hopin'" {#6 in 1964}, "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" {#4 in 1966}, and "Son-of-a-Preacher Man" {#10 in 1969}...
    In 1988 on February 14th, in a duet with the Pet Shop Boys, she peaked at #2 {for 2 weeks} with "What Have I Done to Deserve This?"; it was kept out of the top spot by "Seasons Change" by Expose and "Father Figure" by George Michael...
    Sadly, Ms. Springsfield, born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien, passed away on March 2nd, 1999 at the young age of 59...
    May she R.I.P.
  • Alon from Forest Hills, NyIf you like metal rock, check the cover by Volbeat...
  • Manontheedge from London, EnglandDusty still is the best English female singer ever.
    How can our friend from Canada say the Bay City Rollers version is better ??????. 99% of the B C R fans were teenage girls, I do not think they will ever get into the rock n roll hall of fame.
  • Elle from Boston, MaI love this song! It can be interpreted in so many ways. Some versions sound like Mike's description, some sound like it's about someone finally admitting to his crush that he's been crazy about her for a while...not quite sure why but just needs her. I know that when I'm in a certain mood, the meaning of the song changes for me. That's the beauty of the song, it is the perfect blend of passionate feelings and simplicity.
  • Pete from Nowra, AustraliaWishin' and Hopin' now that was great song
  • Mike from Winnipeg, CanadaThe best version was deffinatly by The Bay City Rollers.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnEven Nicollette Larson recorded a cover version of I Only Want to Be With You.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyDusty Springfield's original version got a bit of a revival when it became the theme for the HBO comedy series "Arli$$". The show's star and producer, Robert Wuhl, thought it was appropriate as the star athletes his character repesented (as a "super" agent) only wanted to be with him.

  • Joe from Adelaide, AustraliaThis was also covered by The Tourists in 1979 a member of which was none other than Annie Lennox
  • Edward from Miami, Fldifferent subject, same artist- Many people fail to notice that "Son Of A Preacher-Man" is about an intimate relationship with her cousin Billy! (she mentions this only once in second verse)
  • Rick from Lafayette, NjThe song was first released in February 1964 by Dusty Springfield. It reached #12 on the Billboard charts. The Bay City Rollers released it in December 1976 and also reached #12. It charted again in 1989 by Samantha Fox and reached # 35. The song was Dusty Springfilds first hit and helped propel her career and induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. (I don't think BCR "made the song more famous").
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Brenda RussellSongwriter Interviews

Brenda talks about the inspiration that drove her to write hit songs like "Get Here" and "Piano in the Dark," and why a lack of formal music training can be a songwriter's best asset.

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce PavittSong Writing

The man who ran Nirvana's first label gets beyond the sensationalism (drugs, Courtney) to discuss their musical and cultural triumphs in the years before Nevermind.

Chris Fehn of SlipknotSongwriter Interviews

A drummer for one of the most successful metal bands of the last decade, Chris talks about what it's like writing and performing with Slipknot. Metal-neck is a factor.

Rick AstleySongwriter Interviews

Rick Astley on "Never Gonna Give You Up," "Cry For Help," and his remarkable resurgence that gave him another #1 UK album.

John Lee HookerSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for Bruce Pollock's 1984 conversation with the esteemed bluesman. Hooker talks about transforming a Tony Bennett classic and why you don't have to be sad and lonely to write the blues.

Colin HaySongwriter Interviews

Established as a redoubtable singer-songwriter, the Men At Work frontman explains how religion, sobriety and Jack Nicholson play into his songwriting.